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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 23, 2012 12:00am-6:00am EDT

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>> live coverage of the 12th annual national book festival in washington d.c.. started by laura bush in 2001 sponsored by the library of congress it has
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expanded to days, 100 authors on the national mall. booktv will be live both-- here is the lineup for today. you will hear from walter isaacson with his book on steve jobs. and then another segment on the book that used to be yes and to talk about a slave in the white house. and the pulitzer prize-winning author will be talking about his book and after that take your calls as well.
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then we will talk about henry clay and stephen douglas and the compromise of the nation. and then back to the history and biography tent than finally david eisenhower talks about dwight david eisenhower and after that booktv will join them on stage you have a chance to talk with them as well. that is the lineup for today. we have another option we will be webcast dain all day
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long here at the national book festival here is the line up. so you have two options. c-span2 or join us online web casting live all day long run the national book festival. the pure in the area come on down we are passing out book bags this year the color is paint. the coordinator jennifer
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gavin what else is going on? >> we have never had so many authors bringing 126 authors and illustrators and paul witt said. this is the second year with the today book festival, by opening one hour earlier and also have multiple authors. >> how many do expect? >> last year we had to mended thousand and we hope for relatively good weather. >> it never seems that crowded. >> and be honest, www.have a gate to and we don't to fly
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helicopters over so it is the inexact science. we are comfortable with the idea hundreds of thousands of people pass through the door. >> come down today and tomorrow. >> we have a vast number of authors and also tracking children in the actual way we have not in the past. we ran an essay contest that we invited children to write about a book that shaped me and tomorrow our benefactor will be here to give the awards to the winning essays in our special program. also african-american service group that has brought to about 300
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regional kids to the festival but this year they have 10 different units are bringing several hundred new children many have never been to washington before. >> accord nader of the national book festival, the tv.org to see the of schedule today and tomorrow plus c-span2 is broadcasting live all day from the history and biography 10 to also a separate the past eight -- webcast dain. two different choices. or come down and join us. now walter isaacson is being introduced from "the
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washington post" to talk about steve jobs. [inaudible conversations] hello? i am a writer at large for "the washington post." it is an honor and privilege to be here for the 12th book festival an institution one of the wonders of the
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world. thomas jefferson contributed books as a seed. it has been a mecca for book lovers like you. i hope you take an opportunity to look of the programs and exhibits we offer the public on site and offline. i have to housekeeping items. first on a wind the question and answer period comes, you are virtually giving permission end for your face and words to be archived into the library of congress. if you are in the witness protection program you may not want to do that. [laughter] we have a late addition tomorrow to 45:00 p.m. bob woodward will be appearing. [applause]
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i am here to introduce a writer who made his mark through an impressive career as a journalist but found time to give us wonderful books. his name is known around the globe. nine have seen it in posters in small towns in peru and oslo. his book is a runaway bestseller one of the most transforming businessmen ever produced. steve jobs. president and ceo of the aspen institute, walter isaacson is a tireless mirror on the culture but also a gifted biographer author of human portraits including the wise men of the architect of the cold war and henry kissinger and albert einstein and one of my heroes benjamin franklin.
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"washington post" called his book fresh, lively, imaginative and wonderfully written. he explains what it is the makes not a great leader of nations but of science, ideology and commerce. moving to history and politics and communication. the chairmen and ceo of cnn and somewhere along the way he turned his appetite into making stories of his own. his latest book is an exploration of life and personality of the founder and chief of apple. to hear from someone else
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may have turned the book into a puff piece with have the on accomplishment and light on flaws but it is a full-scale war it and all portrait. the story of the boy who started the vision into a worldwide phenomenon. somebody said yesterday his book is another perfectly designed product by steve jobs. he knew for a booktv any good it would have to be written by a veteran. he chose the right man. i'd like to introduce an american with the deep
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appreciation for history. babies and gentlemen, walter isaacson. [applause] they call of the wall. about eight years ago i got a phone call from steve jobs knowing him for when he came to time magazine and to show off the macintosh. even then i saw the passion for perfection and how those would connect he showed off the macintosh and how beautiful each icahn was to look at the beauty of the pixels, the design of the
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disk drive but but then he told us our magazine was a four-letter word. [laughter] and said "newsweek" was much better because we did not make him man of the year. then i realize that passion for perfection and then with that great apple product it is part of a seamless system. when he called me eight years ago i just finished benjamin franklin but then said why don't you do my biography next? my first thought then turn
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franklin, albert einstein, it you? [laughter] but the more i thought about it the american in creation myth starting a company in his parents grudge turning it into the most bible company in the history of the planet. by creating great products to redo the digital animated movie industry, a phone industry, the music industry book industry he was transforming. i realized then because he told me. [laughter] he stood at the intersection of be and technology.
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if you see him do a product launch it always ended with a picture on the screen and i realize this there was a common theme of creativity not just being smart the could you probably know a lot of smart people and you know, they are a dime a dozen but the imaginative person who thinks different and amounting to something. that was the common thread. i got very excited about
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rare opportunity to be a close to spend day after day, hour after hour and tried to write a story about the creativity, innovation, and beauty. so we have something of little extra of. three for the price of one because as i was thinking about coming here, i want to do distil the key innovation lessons. starting with steve jobs, he really believed that the matter and success came from
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an insane made great product. un business know there is to raise to look at a business. you can focus on making a product or a really great product. eventually you will cut cut -- cut corners. but if you really focus to make the greatest product, the most beautiful, eventually the profits will follow and you will make a dent you will be an artist and make something special. i was walking around his childhood home and we were looking at defense he had built with his father when
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steve was eight and he said i had to come around to look at the back to see how pretty. my father said to me we have to make the back just as beautiful as the front. he said why? nobody will see it. he said but you will know. you will care. the person who has the passion for the part to unseal always be a good craftsman. i saw this over and over again in his career. while launching macintosh with a wonderful sealed case
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beautifully designed but before they shipped it and he looked at the circuit board. said it stinks. that is my euphemism. [laughter] four words that he sometimes uses. he said it is not beautiful. the chips are not lined up. they said this is a sealed appliance. nobody can open it. nobody will see this circuit board. nobody will know. steve said what his father said, yes, but you will know. so they hold off shipping it until all the chips were lined up beautifully 80 police based. then they all had to sign
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their names to engrained next to the circuit board where nobody would see it and nobody would know but real artists sign there were. sometimes he he is hard to deal with it drives people crazy, drives them to distraction but also to do things they did not know they can do. because when you have that fashion evade drive people crazy but they are inspired by your vision. sometimes it is the reality
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distortion field to remember the "star trek" episode when negative year force of will that alien could create a galaxy. it started early when it was knack was working at atari. with a game called breakout. steve said design the code in four days. there were working on the apple commune in oregon. but he said i cannot do that in four-- it will take a couple of weeks. steve jobs taught himself to stair without blinking.
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[laughter] he stared at waz and said don't be afraid. you can do it. waz said it was amazing. i stayed up four nights in a row and wrote the code. that is the distortion field how he plush people to distraction, a near but what they thought was impossible. the been the macintosh to amore then 70 seconds to buddha. so steve said you have to take 10 seconds off. they said it is elegant code. he said if you could say by
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human life would you? so he goes to the white board and says there will be 1 million macintosh sold and a booting up a couple times per week then you will save the equivalent of 130 lives -- 130 lifetime. ben said don't be afraid. you can do it. i went back to work then within two weeks i shaved off 28 seconds. one more example with the iphone watching the lines on wisconsin avenue for the next iphone because it is a beautiful -- pitiful magical piece of technology because it is well-designed.
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when he started off with plastic he said he wanted a smoothes piece of glass. but smooth and silky. but it did not meet his standards. finally somebody said col corning glass. he picks up the phone and call switchboard and said let me speak to your ceo. they said we will take your name and a member and eventually the head here's the story and calls the switchboard and says let me speak to your ceo. steve hears about it and
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says he is cool. he says this is what we need. he says years ago we develop the vion transfer process we call it correlate glass but we never manufactured it. they went to the process. he said i need this much by a september we ship in october. i just told you never made it that class before. almost 30 years to the month he does it to waz. and he told me the story. it is amazing. he sits across from me and stairs without blinking. [laughter]
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don't be afraid. you can do it. [laughter] after the meeting he called the plant manager near lexington kentucky and start right away from the flat screen tv class and basically wendell said don't be afraid coming at you can do it. [laughter] that is why every piece of glass that year it in your pocket is made by corning glass because steve have the reality distortion field to get people to do that. he also had a passion for beauty and simplicity will commit sophistication. the phrase of the first marketing brochure.
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that simplicity is the key to understand the way the good lord created the universe. just as all great people try to understand, but it is a way to say we have not just eliminated that we have got into the essence then we know what is screw does in the computer or the true simplicity that is interval to the beauty. to create the ipod, where he had done over and over
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but they were brain-dead and you cannot figure out how to make the play list or the interface. steve said make it simple 1,000 songs in your pocket and three clicks to get to any song. no manual. no instructions. they would show the different interface but i cannot get there and three? they say abbreviated title, artist, but no no. three clicks. any song. then they come up with the intuitive design that you remember me the original
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design with the scroll we'll. the longer you go the faster it turns but then there is the big but 10 on top. he says what the negative is this? somebody is scared to answer they say that is the on and off but in. he says what the -- does it do? they say it turns it on and off. why the -- do we need it? [laughter] you do not need that paid by tenet powers down if you use it will power up. you go the day big button. they take it off and that understanding of simplicity
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of beauty and essence. also einstein had that vision of simplicity. what is the simplest way to make things as simple as possible? he was driven by the second characteristic of pure driven curiosity einstein's dad gave him a compass needle points north and but nothing touches the nidal but it keeps swinging and pointing north.
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day after day he would look at it to figure out. . . no matter how fast you are traveling george soros -- away from the source, that lightwave will always travel at 186,000 miles per second or so,
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the constants that it but it was like an einstein said at 817 he said what if i was writing alongside her light amen i went really really fast and i caught up with the lightwave? wouldn't it appear to be stationary? relative to me? he said that maxwell's equations don't allow for that. he said he walked around in the woods for days on end, his palm sweating because this thing so unnerved him come he couldn't figure out how this could be. i remember what was causing my palms is flooded 817 and it wasn't axl's equations. that is why he is einstein and we are not and even after he graduates from high school and he is a runaway and he goes to switzerland. he goes to the the second best college in zürich the polytechnic and he can get a job come he can't get his doctoral dissertation except it. he is not the preeminent physicists in europe of 1905 and
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the only job he can get is as a third class examiner, a patent clerk in the swiss patent office but he is looking at devices to synchronize clocks. quiet? switzerland was just on standard timezones and if any of you know swiss people, they tend to be rather swiss. they really want to strike seven in bonn at the same time it strikes seven in zürich so the only way to synchronize the clocks is to send a signal between two distant clocks and then signal when there is a light signal, radio or electric whatever type of signal travels at the spittle of applied and you have this patent this is what if i caught up with that? still curious. finally just by a thought experiment sitting in this tool on a god -- if somebody is traveling really really fast in one direction towards one of the
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clocks, synchronize would look different to him if someone was traveling the other direction really fast because the signals would take that fraction of a fraction of an animal second to catch up and so it did synchronous is different depending on your state emotion time is different depending on your state of motion and he makes the correctly that the spittle of light is always constant the time is relative depending on your state of motion. and don't be afraid if you don't get it right away. took the physics community 10 years to figure out that was that curiosity that drove einstein. franklin had it as well. benjamin franklin, they were all runaways at 17. they were all dropouts in some ways. every time i speak at a college, the college president says he don't have to emphasize the fact that all three of them dropped out of college, do you? [laughter] franklin is a run of way and actually he drops out of high school in this and get to go to college and he goes over to
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england after running away to philadelphia to age 17 because he wants to be a printer and he wants to buy the printing fonts and types impresses but he hears from the ship captain how it takes a little bit shorter, day less to get across the atlantic to europe than it does coming back, something not fully explained by prevailing wind and the turn of the arc so on the way over benjamin franklin is curious. we have heard about these things so he drops a barrel into the ocean at different depths every few hours and measures the temperature of the water and is able for the first time to chart the gulfstream, to understand what the gulfstream is. that is really cool and curious at age 17 at the thing about franklin is more than almost any other regular ordinary citizen, he travels through his life back and forth across the atlantic more than anyone. many times and even at age 80 when he is coming back from
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england after used on the treaty of paris and the end of the american revolution, he still is dropping barrels of water and still taking the temperature, still trying to chart the gulfstream but it wasn't just the curiosity that to me was franklin salient trait. to to me a salient trait with tolerance. we are standing on a national mall that is a testament to common ground for we the people, the notion that we can find common ground in all come together but at both ends of the small there are buildings in which the notion of understanding tolerance and common ground are in conflict these days, just as they were in 1776. benjamin franklin realized that ability to tolerate -- he had run away from philadelphia filled with anglicans, moravians clown, quakers, slaves, freed slaves
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all sorts of people and that being a shopkeeper on market street, he had to be open and tolerant and departed a society that drew its strength from its diversity. you see that when he forms his own club of tradesmen and artisans in philadelphia in which they look at the trade you need to be a good citizen. he lists all those traits come industry, honesty frugality and the shows at around to the other people on market street in his club, showing how well he has mastered each of these virtues and finally one of his fellow shopkeepers in his leather apron said franklin you are actually missing a virtue you might want to practice. franklin says, what's that? and the friend says humility. you might want to try that one for a change. what i love about franklin is he said, i was never very good at the virtue of humility. i could never master it, but i could master the pretense of
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humility. i could fake it very well. now here is a genius and he said, and they learned that the pretense of humility is just as useful as the reality of humility. it makes you listen to the person next to you and it makes you try to find that common ground and we all share certain values. with visibility and pretense of humility he is the founder that brings us together to find a common ground. when writing the deck ration of independence the continental congress, maybe the last time congress created a great committee, but it has you no franklin, jefferson, john adams. jefferson gets to write the first draft the wonderful library of congress which sponsors this event has the first draft out in the library of congress and you see jefferson's draft saying we hold these truths to be sake reg in
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that wonderful second paragraph. you see franklin spent -- printers than crossing out the word with those backslashes we hold these truths to be self-evident he writes. our rights he said not come from the dictates or dogma religion or another but from the consent of the government in recent. the sentence goes on to say and they are endowed with certain inalienable rights. john adams said that balance of the role of divine providence and their own rationality and reason and consent to the government in forming our government, that type of balance created this new type of nation we created back then, one based on tolerance, humility or at lease the pretense of humility to listen to others and to try to find the common ground. and it even happens at the
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constitutional convention after franklin has come back for the last time and they are fighting in philadelphia over the big state, little state issue, the kinetic compromises gone down and finally franklin gets up and he does a speech about humility. he said the older i get, something really strange happens to me. i realize i am wrong at times, that i am fallible and he said you're going to get old and it's going to happen to you. you don't realize the times you were wrong and so maybe we should each listen to the person next to us and try to find the common ground and they come up with a compromise in the actually makes a motion for it which is a senate based on each state in the house based on representation and he has them line up and sign it. and he says, you know, he says we have to each doubt our own infallibility because this is
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document that brings us together. when they opened the door, the woman comes out in independence hall and the doctor franklin what have you brought in what has been given to us in their? he says the republic madam, if you can keep it because it's up to each one of us to understand that tolerance that is the heart of our society. so those were the three that i learn from the people i wrote about. they also had one of their particular virtue which is this ability to think different. that imagination to think out of the box. einstein, sitting there at the desk, at his desk in the patent office. everybody else begins with a premise that time marches along second by second matter how we observe it. every other physicist and
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scientist has taken that as gospel but einstein that the patent office says how how do we no? how can we be sure? let's think about this differently. every now and then when i did my talk on einstein people would come up afterwards and say haight you know i'm like einstein. different. i think out of the box. i have to remind people it's as it's useful to be like einstein and no what's in the box before you start the in out-of-the-box. but it was because he did think different that made them so cool in such a great citizen. likewise with benjamin franklin, it takes so many things he did. for example in the 1740s and 50's, people still thought that lightning was thunderbolts from god. god could strike down things. they would consecrate them plesco bills unchurched peoples in order to ward off lightening lightning and then they would store the gunpowder in the church but the lightning kept hitting the staples of the churches and people would blow
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up and finally franklin said maybe we should think about this differently. we all think of some silly little experiment but this is significant scientific experiment of the time to understand that lightning is the flow of electricity that can be drawn down by a lightning rod and obviously steve jobs, when he comes back to apple after being ousted in the wilderness for 12 years, the first thing he does is an ad campaign saying think different and he be ready to make him or not read it, from memory he told me about those the says that he wrote, and it was here is to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the round pegs in the square hole and he goes on in family says and those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world by the want to do. by the end he was crying after he recited this. he said to me, that has always been the mantra, the ability to think different but in thinking different and following your
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passion they also did one more thing all three of them. every now and then in fact probably return you hear of baby boomer give a college commencement speech you hear the advisor following their passion. they all three follow their passion but the important advice is this whole world is in just about your dam passion. it's about being part of something larger. it's not just about you and your passion. it's about being part of something larger than yourself and that is what these three people understood. steve jobs around this time last year when he was feeling very ill, i asked him about that. i asked him about what he thought the legacy would be and he said you know i talk about following passion but what i'd really now realize is that there is a flow of history, a river of history and we all take things out of that flow of history to get to use them, ways of making
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food or building houses were wonderful products that people before us have created an part of our role in life is to put things back into that flow of history that are truly beautiful and truly reflect what we believe. and i asked him, to believe that after he died his spirit would live on. he was trained as a buddhist and i said do you still believe in god? he said i'd like to believe that when i dyed my experiential wisdom and all i have learned somehow would still be there in some fashion, in some soul, in some spirit, some incarnation. you said but i guess sometimes i worry a little bit that maybe when you die it's just like an on/off switch and you die and it's like click, you are gone. i was taken aback of course and just stared for a moment and then he gave me the wonderful
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half smile that he has and he said, maybe that's why i didn't like to put on/off switch is on apple devices. [applause] and as for einstein, you know, one of those equations in 1905 in the last paper that he basically transfer to the e=mc2 and maths have a lot of things in motion including eventually the atom bomb. when einstein decided not to have an operation and he is knowing he has a day or so left, what he does is he signs the albert einstein manifesto to say we have to control these atomic weapons in our age. but also, even as he is dying, he still, that's 17 oh, that 6-year-old, curious. how does that force field work? nine pages of equations that he was still working on in his
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office and he sat on his deathbed still writing line after line of equations make in math and crossing them out trying to figure out a field theory that would help explain electromagnetism, gravity, the particles. i went to hebrew university just to look at them and where they are stored and you finally see that last line where it falls a bit as he is dying and he is writing one last line of equations that gets gives him and the rest of this one close -- one step closer to the spirit of the manifest of the universe. as for dr. franklin that tolerance carried with him as a larger thing, being part of something larger. during his lifetime he donated to the building fund of each and every church built in philadelphia. at one point they were building a new hall. it's still there, still called the new hall right to left of independence hall and he wrote
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the fund-raising document that said even if the must die of constantinople were to send somebody here to teach us islam and preach to us about mohammed, we should offer a pulpit, we should listen and we might learn something. and on his deathbed he is the largest jupiter is a mix of built-in philadelphia so when he dies from instead of his minister accompanying his casket to the gray fall 35 ministers, preachers and priests of philadelphia linked arms with a rabbi and a choose to march them into the grave. that is what they were fighting for back then when our country was founded and that is still the struggle we are and, in this world today so i hope you have enjoyed my distillation of the three lessons of my three great heroes. thank you. [applause] thank you.
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>> time for a couple of questions if i may. virginia, the person with the virginia t-shirt and then the washington national. >> one of the characteristics i thought you might speak of and one of the really phenomenal portions of the book where you talk about steve jobs was a characteristic of focus and when he returned to apple to focus. >> focus, right. simplicity is related to focus and what steve always did was i have got to filter out distractions. for example, as you said taking the example of returning to apple, they were making 40 or 50 versions of the mac to milk the profits of it and he said why are we doing all these computers? finally he said we have got to
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focus. his home office laptop desktops and said that's it, just for computers. we have to focus. likewise when they finally get goes for computers downright, they take the top 100 people at apple and they're arguing what should be our next project all on alike were. they'll fight to be in the first page of his whiteboard and yet 10 of them after two and a half days, he crosses out the bottom seventh and says we can only do three. we have to focus and that is why you have to iphone, ipad in the iphone. yes sir? >> and wondered if i wondered if you have any particular -- of the agony of steve jobs and any of these people he did biographies on? >> you know i'm a press person. a live to the right centric. i love books. i love the nrda form so i'm not expert to talk about theater movies. i love them and i go to them but
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that is just not my expertise, sorry. >> thanks for being here and degrade look and i was wondering, now you did a lot of interviews with steven a lot of audio recordings of his interviews and we got to hear some of those on network tv a while back. i'm wondering if there is any plans to release those in the future? >> it's complicated because they argue no, there are things in it that are personal and i really respect steve and there are things i had to leave out of the book. uis have to balance when you do a book what is useful to the reader but also what is going to be too hurtful to somebody. i didn't put in all of the stuff about apple tv and the people at apple have the right to make the tv on their own now. i will cooperate with people and doing research on things but for the moment that's complicated. last question.
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>> there is a wonderful woman there who deserves the last question. bea. last question here. >> steve jobs continued to be involved with the suppliers of the materials for his products up until the end. they are so much publicity for instance about box, and china. >> one of these things was focus and this book, you will say gee wives may worry more about it. tim cook was somebody who went over and visited. steve always said to me, i can't do everything. i really have to add as a gentleman asked at the beginning the question, focus on what i must do best and what might true passion is. and sometimes he will say, well he didn't focus on chinese workers and it didn't focus on whatever it may be but i do think by creating the ipad you will have done more to
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transform education in this country than a whole lot of people like myself who have done reform that i creating great products that showed the intensity of his ability to connect beauty with science which is what is going to make our nation great in the 21st century. and if you say well he should've also focused on these other things, i will remind you we are in the biography tent. this is not the how to tend. these are not management books that say here's how to live your life. ben franklin and let but disliked much differently than einstein, much differently from steve jobs. ben franklin is a great philanthropist who brought people together and he cared about you know all of the supplies in america and how they work but he never invented the iphone or the ipad. everyone does something different and the reason i try to weave three people together is to say, don't try to just
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emulate one person. but realize these are flesh and blood people. franklin made mistakes, even on tolerance. he allowed the advertising is lever in the pennsylvania gazette and at one point owned a couple of household slaves which you realize was a born sony foreign sony freedom but he became -- to make up for what he called that error. so none of these people are perfect. they all are flesh and blood. that is why in the ear of each one of them, people say why did you put the less than savory times? well because they are like us. don't try to just copy any one of them. realize that biography is understanding our world, our values and how you might apply them in your life. thank you all very much. [applause]
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♪ >> this is booktv's live coverage of the national book festival 12th annual and have been listening to walter isaacson talk about his book, "in search of sacco and vanzetti." coming up next in the history and biography tent will be robert caro talking about lbj, his fourth volume. it is "the passage of power" and he will be followed by elizabeth taylor, slave in the white house, paul jennings and the madisons. those of the next two speakers in the history in the biography
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tent and i want to remind you that booktv.org is webcasting all of the offense from the contemporary life pick billy and here at the national book festival. so if you want to tune over there, go to booktv.org, completely separate feed from what we are showing you here at booktv on c-span2. and we are live down on the mall and we are joined by susan tejada who is the author of this book, "in search of sacco and vanzetti." ms. tejada, what happened in massachusetts on april 15, 1920? >> on that day, two men were delivering to cash boxes of payroll to a shoe factory when out of nowhere, two gunmen appeared, shot them dead, grabbed the cash boxes, threw them into an approaching getaway car and left, guns blazing.
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that crime several weeks later resulted in the arrest of sacco and vanzetti. >> were they guilty? >> this is an unsolved mystery. their guilt or innocence cannot be proven, however i lay out the evidence and i think it's impossible that vanzetti was guilty and nearly impossible that sacco was guilty. i also present new evidence that implies that based on evidence, circumstantial evidence that is very persuasive, that one of the murder victims may actually have been coerced into helping plan the crime and then doublecrossed by his conspirators. >> did this become a national trial for was a pretty localized
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in the area? >> the trials and appeals went on for seven years. for most of that time it was a local massachusetts case. towards the end, the protests were around the world. really every continent except antarctica people were organized in protesting. they had come to believe that the men were innocent and that the judge had been grossly prejudiced. >> how did you become an international trial? why are we talking about sacco and vanzetti in school? >> you know, that is the question. you would think after all these years, this would have subsided. it actually was one of the first courtroom dramas that justifiably could be called the trial of the century, and it became a worldwide, notorious worldwide in part because the first defense attorney was
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politicizing, so word got out. then, as the appeals took their time going through the process, the judicial process, the prejudice remarks of the judge became notorious. and a few months before the execution, felix frankfurter who at that time was a harvard law school professor, published a scathing attack on the prosecution's tactics and on the judge's behavior and frankfurter's analysis was very and credulous in getting the word out. >> who were sacco and vanzetti lacks. >> well they were italian immigrants. they were just ordinary guys, workmen. sacco was a skilled worker and a shoe that are it.
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vanzetti had done not jobs after immigrating to the united states shortly before the arrest he had started working as a fish vendor. they were ordinary immigrants but in the united states they became radicalized and they were anarchists. they really were anarchists. followers of an anarchist leader who advocated violence if necessary to achieve his goals. but it was there ordinariness and i think the fact that they were just you know, to ordinary guys, the nightmare that is part of the reason we are still talking about this today. we think there by the grace of god. >> finally susan tejada one of the things that struck the about
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your look is april 15, nine t. 20 of putting context it was also the opening day of the boston red sox of the baseball season. the first year without babe ruth. do that? put it in the larger context? >> i really hoped to bring readers into the story to make it seem real so that readers might feel they are in the courtroom. player in the prison, and so it's important to make history come alive as much as possible. >> susan tejada this is your first book, correct? >> first adult book. >> first adult book. you have written children's books? >> i have. >> what is the name of one? >> i've written children's books about geography and geology. >> susan tejada is the former editor-in-chief of "national geographic" world magazine and here is her book, "in search of
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sacco and vanzetti" and she joins us here at the national book festival. thank you for being with us here in booktv and now in just a few minutes in the history and biography tent robert caro will be talking about his fourth volume of lbj, "the passage of power" and standing room only in the history and butter feet 10. after him we will hear from elizabeth dowling taylor, a slave in the white house about james madison white house, and a reminder booktv.org a completely separate feed. broadcasting of the life pavilion at booktv.org and you can watch it on line life to let booktv.org and finally before we go back to the tent if you are in the area we are passing out the booktv bookbag a hot
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ticket for 2012. the c-span buses out here with a very festive crowd and i will to you what e-mail us at booktv at c-span.org and we will send you a bookbag from this year's festival. all right, back to the history and biography tent, robert caro is about to start. he is going to be introduced by james billington the librarian of congress and after mr. caro's done he is going to be joining us here on our said for a call-in program that you can participate in. so, here is the history and biography tent, national book festival 2012. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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♪ ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention and your presence here to attest to the fact -- one of the foremost biographers and the united states history. he is a remarkable and exemplary historian of our recent past. robert a. caro is the winner of
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two pulitzer prizes, to national book critic circle awards and many many other honors. following his first book, the powerbroker, a biography of robert moses who was a man who achieved the jurisdictional public authorities and in that process helps transform new york city. he has now brought his extraordinary life details to another powerbroker, former u.s. president lyndon baines johnson. his latest book is the fourth in a truly monumental series about johnson. it is titled, "the passage of power" the years of lyndon johnson. it is one of the most exacting and at the same time visibly
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recounted as an american story, about an individual, illustrative of a complex political life and a model of how history can be really written when you do detailed research and yet still have that old classic magic of all literature which is telling a good story that draws you in. ladies and gentlemen, one of the great storytellers of america, robert a. caro. [applause] [applause]
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[applause] >> jim, thank you. that was such a wonderful introduction in effect it was such a wonderful introduction it reminds me of what lyndon johnson used to say when he got in a viscous a nice introduction. ye he used to say he wished his parents were alive to hear it as his father would have loved it and his mother would have believed it. [laughter] you know when winston churchill was writing his great loud graffiti, someone asked him how it was coming along and he said i'm with you on a projected four volumes. [laughter] i'm not preparing myself for winston churchill but in regard to the lyndon johnson biography we are sort of in the same vote. i've been writing about lyndon johnson so long that people sometimes ask me, don't you get bored? and the answer is the very opposite is true.
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for one reason i don't make of these books as being about lyndon johnson just as i didn't think of the powerbroker at -- powerbroker being about robert moses. i never had the slightest interest in writing a book just to tell the life of the famous man. from the moment i first thought of doing books with autobiographies. i thought of biographies as a way to examine the great forces that shaped the lives that they lived in a particularly political power. why is political power were so important? we live than a democracy so ultimately we have the power and the votes that the cast in the ballot boxes and therefore the more that we know about how political power really works, not as it's taught in textbooks and high schools and colleges but the roenicke it reality of lyrical power, the better our votes should be and the better our country should be.
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and lyndon johnson is the right man to examine political power through. he was such a genius in the use of it, bending congress and all washington to his will. the greatest genius in the use of political power introduced in the second half of the 20th century. and it's endlessly fascinating to me at least, to watch him use it over and over again in this book that i just published, "the passage of power," to see them step into the presidency where president kennedy is the second with no preparation at all. think of that, no preparation at all and today political scientist say the time between election day november and inauguration day is 11 weeks and they are saying that is too short of the time for a president to get ready to assume office. lyndon johnson had two hours and six minutes basically, the time in which he was sworn in on the plane, air force one and said let's get her point and then landed in washington. he had to get off the plane and ready to be president of the
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united states. to see them step in with no preparation at all and at a time when president kennedy's entire legislative program, civil rights and indeed his other major bills as well with stall, stall completely. the southern subcommittee chairman who control congress and had been controlling it for a quarter of a century. to see him get that program up and running and passing and ramming it through, to watch lyndon johnson did that in the first weeks after kennedy's assassination as a lesson in what a president can do if he not only knows all the levers to pull but has the will and in lyndon johnson's case the most vicious drive to do it to win used to say over and over again and this is what i was icing to myself when i was doing the research, wow look what he is doing here.
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and i try, don't say i succeed, but i try to tried to explain that in my books. to me to see him doing that is something that is not only fascinating but regulatory, giving a true insight into how power works in washington. and there is another reason that i don't get tired of doing these books on lyndon johnson, because you are always learning something new. that goes even if what you are researching a something that has been written about a thousand or 10,000 times already as is the case of the centerpiece of this book. the assassination of president kennedy during a motorcade in dallas on november 22, 1963. lyndon johnson was in that motorcade to match. the first car, the first car president kennedy and jackie
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were riding with john connally the governor of texas and his wife ellen connelly, still a very beautiful -- though the car behind them is a very heavily armored secret service carved with agent standing on the running boards with automatic rifles down between the seas. in the third car is lyndon johnson's car. he is riding in the back on the right side. lady bird is in the center and the senator from texas ralf sierra ralphie r. burroughs on the left and in the front the secret service man named rufus yarborough. now johnson's car is in that motorcade to although thousands of books have been written about the assassination, they concentrate on what happened to jack kennedy, not one went into detail in what i considered an adequate way, not one of them went into substantial detail about what was happening to
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lyndon johnson, what was happening from his point of view? the assassination had never been told from johnson's point of view and that suddenly came to me when i was doing this book and i said well we have to do that. so how you do that? first you interview the people who are still alive, john connally himself was very helpful to me. yet this great ranch down in south texas with staples and quarter horses. he is to come over to the guesthouse where i would stay very early in the morning, 5:30 or 6:00 and we would go and sit on the top railing of the fence, watching them exercise the quarter horses and he would tell me -- billy answered almost every question that i asked him about anything in johnson's career but he took me through the assassination in great detail. among the things he said was everybody thought when they heard the shots that it was a motorcycle backfired or that it was a balloon going off or a
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firecracker but he said i was a hunter. i knew the instant i heard it that it was the crack of a hunting rifle. talk to ralph yarborough and i talked to everyone he was with lyndon johnson in the hospital when he was still alive. he was in the hospital, congressman named jack brooks, lyndon johnson's devoted secretary marie famer, jack pawlenty, kennedy secretary and i have learned their hobby seemed to be other sources that have been overlooked in sources. while i was doing this, suddenly i came across a fact. there was a secret service regulation that if you were a member of the presidential or the vice presidential detail and it was an incident, an incident involving the president or vice president and the assassination
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wasn't secret service terms just an incident. if there was an incident you have to had to at the first available opportunity type up a report with every detail that you remembered and give it to the chief of the secret service. when i asked the secret service, and i never got a reply, but i was looking in the johnson library where they had 44 million documents and i went to the chief archivist there they said, does there exist in this library those secret service reports and she said yes. and suddenly they were delivered to my test. there were 23 secret servicemen and that motorcade and they all were involved in dallas that day and they all submitted reports and they are all found in the volume that is not a formal volume but a public great finding. it is titled report of the united states secret service on the assassination of president
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kennedy. from these reports, you find out quite a lot. take the report of just one of them, especially jen in charge of the vice presidential detail through the secret service agent i mentioned a moment ago, rufus yarborough. he was riding in the front seat of johnson's car so you have to picture this. the motorcade is going through this streets of dallas from every window in the office building people are beaming out. every time jack kennedy waves, the crowd surges against the police and the car has to go slower and slower. when jackie smiles and waves, the surge even more enthusiastic way to the car. suddenly they are out of the main barrier and they turn into a sort of anti-area called dealey plaza, the grassy plaza and as they do, there is a short cracking sound.
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as i said people thought it was a firecracker or the backfire for motorcycle but john connally knows what it is. yarborough, didn't know the incident. he hears the noise and what happened then is in his report. there it is typed up, the statement of rufus w. youngblood concerning details of events occurring in dallas texas on november 22 and it's in his testimony also before the war in. he hears this noise. he doesn't know what it is, but he looks up and in kennedy's car, which is two cars ahead, he sees what he calls in his report not normal movements. the president appears to be tilting to the left and of course we know now the tragic recent kennedy was tilting to the left was although he had hit bags -- got been hit by one shot he could not fall down because
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as you know president kennedy had this terribly bad back and he wore a heavy coat. on days like the dullest day where he knew he was going to be a long hard day for additional protection for his back he would wrap around his legs and his waste an ace bandage in a figure a configuration eight configuration to give him extra support so when he is hit by the furchtgott, he goes like this and he is therefore hit by the second shot. youngblood seized the movements, the president tilting at the same moment he sees an age in a gent in the second car. the secret service car rising to his feet and grabbing up his automatic rifle looking around. he doesn't know for what. we know what youngblood does next. i wrote it this way. whirling in a seed, youngblood shouted, lady bird said he shouted in a voice i had never heard him use before. get down, get down.
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grabbing johnson's right shoulder youngblood yanked him roughly down toward the floor in the center of the car as he almost left over the back of the front seat and threw his body over the vice vice presidents by shouting again, get down, get down. by the time, only a matter of eight seconds later, that the next two reports had cracked out everyone knew what they were now. lyndon johnson was down on the floor in the backseat of the car curled over on his right side. the sudden large, the sudden loud sharp sounds, the hand suddenly grabbing his shoulder and pulling him down. now he was on the floor and his face was on the floor. with the weight of it and lying on top of him, lyndon johnson would say that he would never forget his knees in my back and his elbows in my back.
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youngblood is sitting and have flying on top of them to protect him and youngblood is playing a short wave radio to keep him from communication and the other cars and over this short wave radio was crackling in johnson's is with what you are seeing in the first two cars ahead. johnson hears, he is hit, his head and begins to get the word hospital. youngblood tells the driver of the car, close it up becae he knows his maximum protection is going to be close to that secret service car ahead of him. the driver of johnson's car is a texas highway patrolman named herschel jackson and youngblood was to describe him as a typical texan, iconic and tough. he puts the johnson car right behind the bumper of the secret service car as the three cars, kennedy's secret service and
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johnson for up the expressway, squeal off the ramp and into the hospital. now youngblood as they are going, youngblood says to johnson, when we get to the hospital don't stop for anything. don't look around. don't stop. we are going to get you to someplace safe. the car stopped in for it agents pulled johnson out of the car and random off to the emergency room they. he doesn't have a chance to look around. his car is right next to kennedy's car. if he had a chance to look around he would have seen a president lying in jackie's lap but it is the they think it a glimpse of the. they run them to the hospital looking through -- for a place they can protect him. finally they come to something that is called the minor medicine section and there were two people in the back. there are three cubicles in the
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first two are unoccupied and in the third of patients being treated. he is hustled out and they put johnson against the wall in the last cubicle. youngblood and lady bird is next to him and someone brings a chair and she sits down. youngblood is standing in front of him. he never leaves their side. in the room between this room and the outer room there are two secret service agents and at the doorway -- who am i doing that? i will try to talk over it. can you all hear me okay? thank you. in the doorways of fourth agent and youngblood says to him, stay in the doorway and don't let anyone pass to you unless you personally know his face. so johnson is standing there for approximately 40 minutes.
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he doesn't know what is happening to president kennedy and he can't get any information. in information. occasionally he send somebody out and a couple of his aides have come in to try to get information and they come back and they say that doctors say they are still working on the president. that is the only information they have given him. johnson is standing there against the back wall and after 40 minutes a kennedy assistant named kinney o'donnell who is not only kennedy's appointment secretary but a man who really loved him. lady bird johnson wrote, kinney o'donnell came to the door and she wrote, seeing the face of kinney o'donnell who loved him, we knew. o'donnell says to johnson simply, he is gone. a moment later another kennedy aide comes into the room and he goes up to johnson and says mr. president -- is the first time he has ever
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been called that. what was lyndon johnson like touring the 40 minutes when he is standing there against the back wall? quite striking to look to the commerce and brooks who came in and his aides who were there. they all used the same words, the same words that youngblood used. he was just absolute column and they remembered what lady bird was always saying about johnson who of course was given to almost hysterical fits. when he had a cold he would almost think he was dying of pneumonia but lady bird said in a tough spot he is a good man and lady bird is watching that 40 minutes and it was like seeing the face of a bronze statue. is very tough face, his lips perplexed and almost a snarl and we notice that lyndon johnson looks absolutely come.
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the minute he is addressed as mr. president he starts to affect one. the secret surgeons come in and crowd around and no one knows this is a conspiracy. you remember it was only a year passed the past the cuban missile crisis. it wasn't just a president who had been hit by a shot but also the governor of texas and if youngblood haven't thrown himself on top of lyndon johnson they didn't know if the shot would be intended for him. that it knows this was a conspiracy and whether it was a actual conspiracy. they said we have to get you out of here immediately and we are getting it back to the plane and take enough for washington to secure in securing the white house. johnson says no, i am not leaving until mrs. kennedy leaves with me so we can get her back to washington. they said while she won't leave without her husband's body. johnson says can we will go to the plane and wait for her and the body there. column indecisive as if he had
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thought everything through on the moment and that seen on the plane when he gets to the plane also describe from his point of view. we all know the photograph, lyndon johnson's ending there with his hand up and jacqueline kennedy standing next to him, lady bird on the other side and the judge with the bible administering the oath. had been told from johnson's point of view and i wanted to do that so to do that i said i'm going to talk very one who is alive who was still in that room. i think, and i talked to marie favor who was johnson secretary. if you look at that iconic photograph in the back behind the people you see the top of the young woman's sort of curly black hair. that is marie framer's head and what she is doing their she told me as checking to make sure that the words are right.
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there was a reporter but he left a wonderful world history. watching johnson takeover in that room. he said you know i am the kennedys had contempt for johnson. they had them rufus cornpone and they had a nickname for lady bird too. so these reporters had a contempt for him also and "the washington post" said i have only seen lyndon johnson as a come. it will be hard to think of them as president johnson but watching him take over there suddenly was not hard at all. he is towering over the room and johnson was always the biggest man in the room. so i am trying to talk to everyone who was alive there and sticking in my mind i had forgotten someone. i couldn't imagine who i had
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forgotten. i kept going over the faces and then suddenly it occurs to me that who i forgot was the photographer. the photographer's name was the man, whose name was cecil and i said he must be dead by this time. but i had my wife look up in the national telephone directed cecil stout and there was a cecil stopped moving in washington, excuse me in florida, 89 years old. and i called and his wife answers the phone and i said, mrs. dowd and my name is robert caro and i am writing a book about when and johnson and she says, cecil has been waiting for you to call. [laughter] [applause] and of course for those of you who have read the book no he provided a lot of other details. a very fascinating detail including the fact that the steadiness of johnson's hands,
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one hand handles on the bible and there wasn't a tremor. he was absolutely column. and then there is the flight back. what was lyndon johnson doing on the flight back? it seems incredible to me that the world of books that have been written, they hadn't gone in real detail into that. it was quite a flight and in everybody's mind was was there a conspiracy? and every air force base along the route and air force one one going back to washington, the fighter planes are actually on the runway, and their engines are running. the pilots are belted into their seats and on the radar screens in the shacks, the radar shacks, men are bent over the radar screens watching to see if there is any blip from air force one. a thousand pounds of air force
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across america, flags are being lowered to half mast and church bells are starting to chime. new york city lights are turned on for the theater of the marquee in times square. one by one the lights go off. traffic, somebody stops his car and the car starts to beep and someone comes out and they ask him it. the news circulates from car to car so traffic comes to push cart peddler or hotdog peddler. he is sitting on a curb on broadway and someone gets out and says, is it true? visas yes, he is dead. cullen visas yes, he is dead. ..
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>> two men who hated each other all their lives. at the time kennedy is
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having lunch. he had a house called hickory hill in virginia. there is the long green lawn. robert kennedy is sitting added table with the u.s. attorney for new york and two things have been simultaneously. all of a sudden the house is being painted then all of the sudden he grabs the transistor radio and comes down the radio and starts to run toward us the end of the telephone rings on the table. a full kennedy gets up and answers it and says it this is j. edgar hoover telling him his brother was hit and probably killed.
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so johnson went into president kennedy's bedroom and called robert kennedy. and asks for the details and the exact wording he should take. is johnson taking revenge for all of the humiliation robert kennedy and reflected on him? was there other motives? i don't know. but robert kennedy patches and the deputy to the call. and he said anyone of 100 officials could have given him the information and he should not have made the call.
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my asked murray and i said what were their voices like? she said one was like steel. robert kennedy was when he started the then wasn't. but then said they should not have been talking on that call. not that lyndon johnson ever wanted all after landing at airforce -- edwards air force base. i should have said people said house insisted johnson was jacqueline kennedy be standing beside him because he wanted the symbol of continuity. she understood this.
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and she said for the sake of history i should. johnson wants to come off the back door with himself and jacqueline kennedy then that aids. but as the plane pulls up the front door has a ramp and robert kennedy runs up the front to ramp and pushes his way to the front and past lyndon johnson and he goes down with jack the behind the coffin. and they drive off. and other ramp is moved away so then johnson has no place
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to go wild but car drives away. there are 100 fax we thought that we knew but we did not. that could help to understand lyndon johnson. then i tried to talk about the days after. then he has his first confrontation with congress. what is on the agenda? a minor bill with a weak deal with russia and a senator introduced david -- amendment and the kennedy people are prepared to let it go through. not johnson. he says i want the bill stopped i wanted murdered. he wants it defeated to show
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congress there is a new president and you cannot treat him the same way you were treating him. they say they have the certain number but he counts the votes. he stays on the telephone making calls and of the bill was murdered. he writes -- in his memoirs power of the federal government began falling back to the white house. it did. this book "the passage of power" is about how lyndon johnson the power back to the white house and then what he does with it. this covers the first
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47-- of "the passage of power" for one president to another january 8th 1964. by the end those 47 days, the passage is over he has turned jack kennedy's bills and started all of them on the road to passage. january 8 is also the day the first data of the union speech where he makes the presidency his own with the announcement america will have day war on poverty. to say to many americans live on the outskirts of who. that is who we have to help.
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the more detail you learn learn, about what he did with congress and to congress. [laughter] the more amazing the accomplishment seems. the civil-rights bill is dead and only a parliamentary maneuver can move forward. if there was only one lover, ed johnson would grab it and pushed it and put his weight behind it. then "the new york times" rates something changed on capitol hill yesterday and the civil-rights bill starts to move. during the transition period called "the passage of power" he not only rescued the predecessors' programs but launches the war on poverty, a crusade for an
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act had it succeeded succeeded, transformed america. that is not a whole story of his presidency at the of course. there is another volume yet to come. [laughter] [applause] the story on how the war on poverty and the many programs of the great society, the dreams and in vietnam but what i tried to do in this volume with a rare clarity in the 47-- by watching how he took hold of
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presidential power, and quickly began to use that power to the end that is so monumental we can see the potential in american president transforms the country he leads. thank you very much. [applause] >> i will be happy to take questions. >> you talk about the two sides of lbj the dark side and the light side when president kennedy died he wrote to such a move aimed
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condolence letter but yet so cruel to his staff and ladybird. could you comment more? >> a wonderfully well organized festival. you can actually hear the questions. that is a rarity. [laughter] johnson is that type of people. he is of such contrast he could be so cruel, monumental, back break the rules of politics to steal the election to get him to the senate. that is lyndon johnson. a desire to help poor people of color was lyndon johnson also.
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the. >> what did your perspective by the former press secretary of george w. bush? did you get to interview that author of mclellan? >> i did not. the only thing i can say is he said in all my years working on the johnson papers and diaries and i never found the slightest hint he had anything to do with the assassination. >> lbj is well remembered man very adept at navigating the senate and working with congress to get difficult things done. how well the you think he would do today with the very
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polarized environment? [laughter] [applause] >> that is a terrific question. it is hard to answer but when lyndon johnson became the majority leader in 1955, the senate, for decades the same mess, hard to believe, the same dysfunctional mess that it is today. [laughter] bills could not get past because it was not a party provision but interparty. half of the democrats were southern democrats who were as conservative as you can imagine on civil-rights. and in that year of 16
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standing committees committees, republicans cheered nine of them and so were the subcommittee's. no one realizes but to in the 25 years after the supreme court packing fight when they realize they were on the same side no president not roosevelt, truman come ever got a major domestic bill through congress. johnson comes and in instant it is changed and it becomes the center of ingenuity and creativity. he was majority leader six years. then he leaves instantly the senate is back in the same mess. the major political geniuses
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to find a way when no way is obvious. 1/2 no idea what president johnson would do. maybe i could research. somebody will come and do it again. >> one major event covered was the overthrow and johnson is on record to oppose it. could you elaborate what is true of his stance? what was it and why he believes what he did? >> can i take a pass? it is right at the beginning of the book i am writing now. and the answer is so complicated. i do not have the summation
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in my mind. >> that i will refer to your book. when you stated in the united states that he would get back to robert kennedy. >> >> i'd want to be put to in a position, i johnson did say that in his retirement good kennedy's moore running said dan murdering inc. in the caribbean. the documentation and he had come i don't know. >> but do said we had a hand in killing him was not
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quoted in the book. >> we only have time for one more question. >> thank you for your spellbinding reporting. [applause] could you elaborate on this stance of civil-rights before he was president and how he passes the landmark legislation and? >> i will elaborate on his stance but people ask me how sincere he was. i felt lyndon johnson always wanted to help poor people of color.
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when he was in college between sophomore and junior year, he was so poor he had to drop out. he was then a small town in texas it was really for the mexican migrant workers school. no teacher had never cared if these kids learn to or not. he cared. he thought it was so important they learned english. he would go among them migrant workers shacks so they would drive the kids to the baseball team. but you could say that is just an example oh is trying to do the best job he could. but i feel he really wanted
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to help. he did not only teach the kids but the janitor. his name was coronado. johnson -- johnson insisted he learn english for everyday he would sit on the steps and then johnson would pronounced and i would repeat. i think when did johnson always cared about civil-rights. the second part, how did he get to kennedy's bill? it takes a lot of pages to talk about it but to the instant, the bill appears to be totally dead. didn't somebody file a discharge petition?
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it was then day committee. in the house rules committee. the bill was going nowhere. johnson remembers someone pulls out the discharge petition in. there were almost never passed and no president had never gotten behind one. johnson calls are representative of introduces it in a representative from misery is told to drop it. and if you listen to johnson in a telephone call it is a genius. the first half is him saying of course, we cannot violate the house presidents. then he says what other ways do we have?
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[laughter] [applause] >> thank-you very much. >> host: this is booktv live coverage of the 12th annual book festival. you have been listening to robert caro to talk about the first installment called "the passage of power." mr. caro will work his way over to our set to to take your calls.
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mr. caro will be over here as soon as we can wrangle him from the crowd crowd, standing-room-only. we are located right next to the history and biography 10 to. next you will hear from elizabeth dallying taylor paul jennings was the slave dolly madison. she will talk about her book then we will talk about the book focused on the cold war. that is coming up over the next couple of hours.
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we will be doing a call and with mr. caro then tom freedman will join us so you can talk to him. and the best seller that used to be yes. that is coming up for review interested in other things, we're webcasting live the contemporary life pavilion tent from the national book festival, the full schedule is available so you can go there to see what we are broadcasting. there's a new book on the supreme court as "the new york times" reporter and should be talking right now
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at booktv.org. the webcast at booktv.org and the life cast here on c-span2. i want to begin to take a couple of calls and if you have a question we will write it down. let's start with mark from new jersey. what is your call mentor question? >> caller: my comment is mr. caro. i read the three previous books and i found them very entertaining and i am looking to the fourth but johnson's reaction to him being president after the assassination of kennedy
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kennedy, what was the reaction of the administration workers? and their reaction. >> host: thank you. i see mr. caro has joined us. thank you for being here. mark wanted to know the reaction the reaction the administration official. >> that is a good question. many treated john sen badly. he was cutout complete the and humiliated. they would reorganize a committee he was chairman without telling him. and referred to him at as a ruthless cornpone. they also who were honest
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foot war than a little of trade because they had seen him in the senate and they knew what to a power he was and they were afraid. but johnson realizes the presidency will be successful, he has to get them on his side. he says i need you more than he needed you. >> host: use say your book "the passage of power" covers only 47 days? >> it covers five years. 1958 through the fight for the nomination 1960 then how robert kennedy tried to remove johnson from the ticket then the of vice
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presidency. then it covers the first 47-- of his presidency. that is what i call teeeleven between the assassination and the first eight of the union. >> host: tomorrow another presidential biographer we'll talk about his book, barack obama the story. we ask him if he had a question. he has to of them. >> you seem to have a remarkable capacity to maintain your excitement and curiosity about a single subject over a long period of time. have you found your excitement thank curiosity has increased rather than diminished? >> terrific question. yes.
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i regard the books not about lyndon johnson alone but political power and how it works. we need to understand how really works. to watch johnson used political power for someone who is interested you say that is fascinating. look at what he is doing now. >> host: the second question, have you been tempted to break off to do another book in between and was subject would that be? >> i have not been tempted to do that. i have been taking notes all along on what it is like to do these books.
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and moses would do anything he could to stop my book. and there is a story doing good johnson book. i hope after a finish the story of power. >> host: the next call comes from washington d.c. >> caller: mr. caro i have read your books over a long period of time. one question. in the first original book you tried to find one specific secret service agent to clarify specifically what happened after mr. kennedy was assassinated.
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other offerings suggested the secret service had not acted properly and in a timely manner. to write down the notes that were not accurately portrayed and how they were handled by the white house at that time. . .
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